Balance……One of my Thoughts for everything in the new year of 2012
GOD…..And All His Commandments and what goes along with them will be my main focus for 2012. Why things get done and in the manner they get done will be based on God and what i suppose God wants. By meditating on God and His commands. Getting back to basics, where i used to be, about 12-15 years ago.
My anger in and with the way the nonprofit industry operates, the same industry in which our organization operates. Bottom line, i have expressed my anger numerous times. I am wrong to do that. Yes, God does indeed have a temper and has anger in how we as a people do not listen to Him and he has many many reasons for His anger as documented in the Bible. Anger is HIS job. Not ours. Ours is to have Faith and Believe. So, i plan to work extremely hard on doing away with the anger and focusing solely on God and His Son Jesus Christ and what THEY want. And actually that in itself is quite simple. They want exclusivity, God wants obedience and Jesus wants us to Follow Him, Be Like Him. Not complicated, but not always easy to do. It takes a conscious, mental effort of daily focusing on Jehovah God and Jesus. Focus on both, as they have very separately specific goals. They are Not the ones complicated, we make them complicated.
The Wrong Reasons:
Back in the winter of 1985, when my ex-wife and i began going under the bridges and to shelters in Minneapolis, MN with blankets, coffee and more to the homeless, i did not know or realize that i was being “pulled” or “called” to do this work, little lone turn it into a nonprofit! It was not until 1990 that i realized that “calling”, although not entirely. It wasn’t until about 1995, that i fully seen, felt and heard the calling from Jesus, telling me i had a job to do. ( I had tried to take my own life, it was Jesus’s way of saving me, giving me a job to do) My wife and i were divorced by then and so it was only me doing what was this outreach work to the homeless and after my suicide attempt, a year later i was also outreaching to those who were suicidal. That became a huge part of me and my outreach. I did this all as an individual, privately, on Jesus’s terms, directed by Him.
I did this for quite some time, like i say, privately, (while working full time jobs) not even my family really knew much about what i did, not even to this day. They would think i was crazy. They know bits and pieces, but that’s it. I was doing it for Jesus, by Jesus and through Jesus. Period. I knew it fully and felt Him every time He sent me out. Every time. Literally. Jesus would direct me literally to someone in need, who HE wanted. As i look back now, i can see many of them were His Sheep or those of his Sheep that had gone astray.
Soooo, not to bore you with too many details of MY life, lets jump ahead to 2007. 2007, i had been in Clearwater FL for 4 years with my current fiance, Pat….. i call her my wife because we have now been together going on 9 years. In 2007 we moved from Clearwater, Fl to Knoxville TN. Every where i had gone since 1985, this homeless and suicidal pull/calling had followed me, manifested itself to me, except for the short time i lived in Michigan for less than a year in late 2002- Sept 2003. Well, it followed me to Knoxville now too. 2007 and as we drove around Knoxville, TN the homeless were being pointed out to me like brightly colored neon lights. It was blinding, overwhelming how Jesus was pointing them out to me. I felt i once again had no choice but to do something. Jesus was calling me to once again do His work on an increased scale. So as an individual i did the outreach as i had for many years before, like always, exactly the same. My wife Pat being dragged along having no choice it seemed either. Little did she know what she was getting herself into. Then, it got to be too many……..soooo……
Straight Ahead Outreach-Taking Back Your Life was born. I made up vehicle magnetic signs and placed them on our van. I was working full time for Eco Clean Carpet Solutions in Knoxville. Pat was working full time for ImagePoint in Knoxville. We did the outreach on our off hours, mostly at night and on weekends, but many many times we took off 2-8 hours from work in order to help our Friends In Need. By 2008 Straight Ahead Outreach was in it full bore. Constantly helping our friends In need 24 hours a day, 7 days a week while still working full time regular jobs. We did it, and our results were awesome on Jesus’s behalf.
January 9th, 2009 came and Pat’s employer abruptly on a Friday shuttered their doors. We would lose everything if we did not move to Florida where Pat had a good job offer. So move we did. Reluctantly. Neither one of us wanted to. We absolutely love Knoxville, TN. It had become our home.
So, here we were and still currently are, in the St. Petersburg/Clearwater, FL area (still helping in Knoxville TN also). We began right away helping the homeless here. We have helped many. Made huge differences in many on behalf of and by the power of Jesus. Literally.
It was here in March 2009, that a major donor of ours was strongly encouraging me to incorporate Straight Ahead Outreach as a 501c3 nonprofit. I had never wanted to be a nonprofit, i did not care for what i had seen since 1985 of nonprofits and the greed amongst them for power and money. let me say here i also had for years tried to do this work full time and get paid to do it. The weird thing was every single time i tried or asked Jesus for help in that, i always…always got a thought in my heart from Jesus that stated, “Nope, not allowed.” To this day i do not make a dime in this work and never have. I have to admit though, i sure wish i could.
Here is a scripture in regards to pay in doing Jesus’s work: Excerpt From Matthew 10:1-15
5 These twelve Jesus sent forth, giving them these orders: “Do not go off into the road of the nations, and do not enter into a Sa·mar´i·tan city; 6 but, instead, go continually to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 As YOU go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of the heavens has drawn near.’ 8 Cure sick people, raise up dead persons, make lepers clean, expel demons. YOU received free, give free. 9 Do not procure gold or silver or copper for YOUR girdle purses, 10 or a food pouch for the trip, or two undergarments, or sandals or a staff; for the worker deserves his food.
Sooooo, sorry, i digress and ramble. Back to 2009 and being strongly encouraged by a major donor to become a 501c3 nonprofit. I fought it and fought it. Pushed it aside. The donor actually started encouraging me in 2008 when they first donated to us. (We had met through someone we both were currently assisting that was homeless.) But in March of 2009 they convinced me to apply for the 501c3 nonprofit status. It was so we could raise more Money, reach more Money, because as it was explained to me, Donors who would donate any substantial Money wanted the ability to have their donations be Tax-Deductible. Money Money Money! I did not like the feel of it, even to this day. BUT, i did it. I downloaded the 501c3 application, filled it out over the next 9 months and mailed it in along with the fees out of my wife Pat’s personal funds. On 1/1/2010 Straight Ahead Outreach-Taking back Your Life Inc, officially became a 501c3 nonprofit.
After all my years of hard work and doing the life-saving work of Jesus for the past 26 or so years, it had come down to this. Money.
Why did we become a 501c3 nonprofit?
The Wrong Reason. Money. I had let someone, someone of considerable wealth, talk me into changing what Jesus was so warmly and securely directing me to do in His work.
I found myself frustrated, struggling to raise money because now we had made Straight Ahead Outreach bigger than it was. We were now a very Public 501c3 nonprofit, so i thought…”I better raise more money so we can help more people”…” I better raise more money so we can get better equipment, more equipment, a facility, laundry machines, this that and the other thing.” We helped people yes, many people. We saved lives through Jesus Christ. Because of Jesus. But not enough in my mind, in ratio to the screams for money. And the equipment? Simply did not come in relation to all the screams for it. More more more! Give us more! All in the name of helping others. Sheesh! It wore me out. Made me full, very full of anger to the point of making videos displaying that anger. Even helped to distract us from helping the very people Jesus sent us out to help. Tell me THAT is not satan at work! I have the proof! I am the proof. My last video on this Jan. 11, 2012, really made me uncomfortable and disappointed with myself. Thus, this blog today. I will be removing the video today from this website and my YouTube Channel. There are older videos on my Youtube Channel that show a little bit of my anger but i will leave those for now.
So now, 2012, i have been seeking balance. Seeking God Himself, both Pat and i have been. That’s cool in itself. Oh, and when i say God, i am meaning Jehovah God, not Jesus. I am seeking God. Why? It is not by accident. It was not my idea because i have always done the “job” Jesus wanted me to do. That’s as far as it went. Doing the “job” Jesus wanted me to do, helping those He pointed out to me. Which is perfect by the way.
However, enter Jehovah God. When? When it all became about the Money. Now God says to me…Literally in my heart…….“AHEM! Remember ME!!!? You are doing this work because i said Jesus could let you do it! Because Jesus believed in You, I Jehovah God let you do it!! I let Jesus guide you because JESUS believed in You and your lack of desire for worldly things, over helping others!” ” IF WE need you to have money, WE will see that you get it. IF WE see that you need equipment, WE will see that you get it!!” ”Do what WE need you to do! Listen to US! Obey ME! Glorify ME! AND FOLLOW JESUS! Be more like Jesus! Copy Jesus in every way! You do YOUR part and let ME do my Part!”
Yes. Most certainly, a huge YES. Jehovah was yelling at me, scolding me for letting satan get into me over Money, the need for Money. Jehovah knows i know exactly that Jesus was my direction and also my power and protection when i am in with the “wolves” doing His work. He also knows i know exactly how satan works. Jehovah EXPECTS me to know better, because i know, because HE and Jesus have taught me themselves. That is why i appreciated so much the scolding. Matthew 10:16 - Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.
As i have said in my 2012 Announcement and i will say it again here. In 2012, we will be releasing our current clients and will not take on any new clients unless Jehovah God so chooses us to do so. Instead, I will use 2012 to re-evaluate everything Straight Ahead Outreach does and or is and how it does it. As i do this my concentration will be solely on what Jehovah God and His Son Jesus direct me to do. If it is to do nothing, then it will be to do nothing. If it is To Do. Then it will be done. Just as it was, before we became a 501c3 nonprofit.
THIS will be my main focus and guide to helping others in the future: MATTHEW 10 Verse 11-15 >> 11 And whatever town or village you enter, find out who is worthy in it and stay there until you depart. 12 As you enter the house, greet it. 13 And if the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it, but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. 14 And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet when you leave that house or town. 15 Truly, I say to you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town.
IF, God chooses to allow me to continue His and Jesus’s priceless gift of helping Jesus’s Sheep, than that is who we will primarily seek out, is HIS Sheep or lost sheep. And Yes, they could even be those you call addicts, losers, prostitutes, criminals. They could even be YOU. The key will be, it will be done GOD’s way. Period.
2012 Will be a year of Balance & Strong Focus on God
THANK YOU JEHOVAH GOD, for setting me Straight moving me Straight Ahead, for scolding me. For getting Me on the track to Taking Back MY Life from satan.
Do you see now where our organizations name comes from? It is literal.
Lance Greene/Founder of Straight Ahead Outreach-Taking back Your Life Inc.